Events

Framework Forum roundtable
Monday September 8, 2014, 13:00 – 18:00
Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
Auditoire Jaques Freymond, rue de Lausanne 132 , Geneva

By invitation only
Contact info@baselpeaceoffice.org

Kazakh Room (Cinema Room XIV),
Palais des Nations, United Nations, Geneva
September 25, 16:00 - 17:30
followed by refreshments

Organised by UNFOLD ZERO and the Basel Peace Office
Hosted by the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs

A UN pass is required to attend. Contact info@unfoldzero.org

18 August to 15 October 2014
Oberer Rheinweg, Basel, Between Mittlere Brücke (Middle Bridge) and Wettstein Bridge

Late October until early December 2014
Theatrestrasse, Basel. From Elizabethenkirche to Barfusserplatz

www.makingpeace.org

Sunday August 17, 6pm – 9pm
Im Fluss stage on the Rhine
Oberer Rheinweg, Basel

Free

PLAYforRIGHTS presents a Youth Music Performance to commemorate World Humanitarian Day

A range of live music featuring ERROR 404 brass band ensemble from Musik Akademie Basel

July 4 - 5
Basel, Switzerland

Hosted by Guy Morin, President of the Basel-Stadt Canton
Organised by the Basel Peace Office

Mayors, parliamentarians and civil society!
Join us in Basel to share initiatives, network with others and advance the cooperative security framework for peace, prosperity and nuclear disarmament.

Chernobyl exhibition and the Rhine
Kleinbasel, Basel
Sunday April 13, afternoon

With Basel Peace Office and Environmental Award laureates participating in the 3rd International Convention of Environmental Laureates.

13:00: Photo exhibition of Chernobyl nuclear disaster
by Alexander Hofmann
Basel Art Center, Riehentorstrasse 33, Basel
Discounted group rate 15 CHF (normal entry is 22 CHF)

13:50 Lunch
Merian Spitz Cafe, Rheingasse 2

15:30. Rhine Promenade, water-powered ferry, Munster

RSVP to alyn@pnnd.org or +41 788 912 156

International Day of Sport for Peace and Development
Sunday April 6, 2014

Carton Blanc photo event and short peace run/cycle in Basel
Followed by an informal talk on peace and sport – peace bike rides

3pm: Run/cycle along the Rhine from Oberer Rheinweg (under Wettstein Bridge) to the Three Countries Corner
4pm: Carton Blanc photo event at Three Countries Corner, Dreiländereck
5pm: Light meal and talk at Restaurant Schiff

Contact info@baselpeaceoffice.org

Act now to encourage your country to engage in the OEWG. Organize a public event with motive of “opening the door to a nuclear weapons free world”!

Tuesday 21 May, 2013
13:15 – 14:45
Room XI, Building A, UN Geneva

Side-event of Open Ended Working
Group on Nuclear Disarmament

Launch of the 2nd edition of the Nuclear Abolition Forum
Tuesday, 9 April 2013
12:30 – 14:00
Geneva Centre for Security Policy
WMO/OMM Building Avenue de la Paix 7bis, Geneva

Featuring:
Ambassador Urs Schmid (Switzerland)
Ambassador Nobuyasu Abe (Japan)
Jean-Marie Collin (PNND, France)
Marc Finaud (Program Adviser, GCSP)
Alyn Ware (Founder, Nuclear Abolition Forum, New Zealand)
Teresa Bergman (Researcher, Basel Peace Office)

6pm, Friday May 24
University of Basel, Lecture Hall 001
Petersgraben, Basel

Featuring:
Wilson Kipketer, runner. Current world record holder for the 800 and 1000 meters (indoors).
Spokesperson for L’organisation pour la Paix par le Sport (Peace and Sport)
Paol Hansen, Special Adviser UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace
Carola Szemerey, Youth Future Project
Henk Van Nieuwenhove, Flanders Peace Field project  (the 1914 Soccer Truce)

 

International symposium on humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons

On 17 November the Basel Peace Office hosted an international symposium, held at the University of Basel, on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.

The facts of the issue are indisputable. There are 19,000 nuclear weapons in the world and enough fissile material to make thousands more. One nuke detonated in a city would  be 1000 times worse than the Sep 11 terrorist bombing in New York city. 50 nukes used in a regional war would create climate change consequences that would dwarf the current climate crisis, causing global famine and financial and environmental collapse. The catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons render their use incompatible with international law applicable to war – including international humanitarian law and the laws of peace and security (such as the UN Charter).

Despite the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons, the issue receives minimal public attention and political momentum. The Basel Peace Office symposium thus explored ways in which the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and the imperative for nuclear abolition could gain greater publicity and traction on the issue.

Roman Vassilenko, Director of the Nazarbayev Centre and Karipbek Kuyukov, Honorary Ambassador of the ATOM Project, spoke humanizing and personalizing the political debate and inspiring public involvement by highlighting the health and environmental consequences from nuclear weapons tests. The ATOM Project video is an excellent resource to use for public education in this regard.

Jelena Milenkovic, from the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, reported on efforts being taken by the Swiss government to build collaboration between like-minded countries to advance the issue of humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons as a way to break the deadlock in nuclear disarmament negotiations. In October, the Swiss government released a Joint statement on catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons which was co-sponsored by 33 other countries. This initiative has been helped by the work of the International Committee of Red Cross to highlight the inhumanity and illegality of nuclear weapons (see ICRC and nuclear weapons and also the Basel Peace Office opening reception).

Rob van Riet, from the World Future Council, spoke on the connections between climate change and nuclear weapons. These connections could help to build media attention and public engagement to nuclear weapons, arising from the considerable media and public attention already on climate change. (See Climate-Nuclear Nexus).

Jean-Marie Collin, PNND Coordinator for France, reported on a recent breakthrough in France which is opening up public debate on nuclear weapons issues. In France, nuclear weapons are generally equated with pride - making  France a responsible global power, as well as being a positive legacy from General Charles De Gaulle and a necessary deterrence to prevent a repeat of the 1st and 2nd World War occupations of France. However, a recent book by former French Defence Minister Paul Quiles (“Nucléaire, un mensonge français: Réflexions sur le désarmement nucléaire”), is changing the debate in France from one of mythical support to rational discussion on the utility of nuclear weapons in a changing world. Jean-marie reported that PNND is working closely with Quiles including writing a chapter for his book, translating it into English and organising a parliamentary conference in the French Senate in January 2013 that will feature Quiles and other notable French figures (See Mensonge Français! French Defense Minister re-evaluates nuclear deterrence!).

Martin Hinrichs and Christian Ciobanu, Ban All Nukes Generation, spoke about ways to engage youth in nuclear abolition initiatives by providing opportunities for youth to engage with decision-makers at key nuclear disarmament events such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conferences and the conference on humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons to be hosted by the Norwegian government in March 2013. (See also Claim your voice: Ban the Bomb).

Svenja Quitsch and Carola Szemerey from the Youth Future Project spoke about ways to empower youth to be agents for change not just bystanders or inheritors of the status quo. The Youth Future Project helps youth to develop their dreams and visions for a better world into practical projects and campaigns.

Sara Hirsch, Elin Ledskog and Courtney Hejl, from Universal Models for Peace, demonstrated some of their techniques for reaching a wider section of the public. These include random street interviews, You-Tube videos, social media posts, using models and other celebrities to showcase nuclear disarmament stories and heroes, and using the entertainment networks. Universal Models for Peace was established by models and others in the fashion industry to enhance public awareness of global problems and their solutions – particularly relating to the UN Millennium Development Goals. They are currently working with PNND and the ATOM Project on media projects to advance nuclear abolition.

Alyn Ware - Global Coordinator of PNND, co-founder of the Abolition 2000 Global Network for Eliminating Nuclear Weapons, and 2009 Laureate of the Right Livelihood Award (‘Alternative Nobel Peace Prize’), highlighted some of the recent developments making the abolition of nuclear weapons more possible ‘in our lifetimes’.  These include US President Obama’s vision for a nuclear-weapons-free world, the emergence of cross-party support for a nuclear-weapons-free world from other high-level states-people around the world, the UN Secretary-General’s Five-Point Plan for achieving such a world, and the increase in civil society action for nuclear abolition. However, continued adherence to nuclear deterrence and vested interests from corporations making nuclear weapons (it’s a $100 billion per annum industry) and from governments seeking power from nuclear weapons, need to be addressed. The Basel Peace Office can make valuable contributions in these areas through its core programs.

Following the symposium, there was a youth meeting to develop collaboration between the Basel Peace Centre and the key youth networks on peace and disarmament, including plans for a youth workshop on Sports and Peace in Basel in 2013.

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